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Strategy




General Strategies     Amazon Strategies

Assassin Strategies     Barbarian Strategies

Druid Strategies     Necromancer Strategies

Paladin Strategies     Sorceress Strategies




Assassin Strategies

for a good all around assassin that kills cows so you can level and deals lethal damage use these skills: tiger strike- with this skill maxed plus ur added skills from equipment this will add arounf 1500-2000 extra damage. max this skill. dragon claw- good for using 2 claw class weapons this will increase your damage and lets you use both claws in one attack. max this skill. claw mastery- good for adding extra damage. put 10-15 skill points into it . claw block- gives you a chance to block while using 2 claws. put 10 into this skill, the chance to block does not go up that much after this about 1 every 2 skills. shadow master- some extra help when fighting a lot of opponents and uses all your skills wisely. 15-20 skill points into it. death sentry- this skills corpse explodes so when one enemy dies it starts a chain reaction- put about 10 into this skill so it deals damage also. burst of speed- put one into this skill your skills from equipment will boost it up. only put other skills up for prerequisites

my account name is hellmit23 and my assassin's name is Alynnia

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lol.... ur strategy needs only one thing: COMBINATION. i have a lvl 36 assassin, and she whooped a lvl 63 guys ass. all because i use more than one way to win. traps are the best for sticky situations. u arent a barb, ur an assassin, try playing like one. and also, charge ups ROXOR. personally, i like claws of ice and lightning. i havent mastered anything yet i still am able to take out pretty much anything that comes to me. so think about it

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First off this is for low lvl assassins.That just wanna play for fun.This is what u need to do:max or lvl up tiger strike,max or lvl up dragon claw,max or lvl up claw master, and max or lvl up burst of speed.if u do not wish to max these skills out than with the extra skill points put them into traps and more martial arts.my asn is lvl 20 AND SHE KICKS ASS.also cobra strike is needed through out the game.if u choose my strategy and its works out for u then whisper me because i wanna no how ur doing.my acct is xbuckinfitchx and my asn name is dcc_kicker.have fun w/ ur tranning!!!!!!!

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Hey I'm an assassin at lvl 67 or so. I was looking at all the other stratagies on this site and i saw that none of them are what i do. If you want to make a good assassin I would suggest a two claw stratagy. Use the tiger strike charge up skill max it out, then use the double claw finishing move. the tiger strike is added to BOTH claws. right now i am doing about 5k damage so i think my strat is set up pretty well. I also maxed out claw master and the shadow master. I also use two bartucks. Then use the burst of speed as well. probably not more than 10 skills or so in that though because after that it's just pointless. Also for hell, use Fade. It temporarily gives you all resist. VEry helpful when going up against elemental. Especilay sense you are melee. I dont use any traps, but am in the process of a making a traps assassin. My plans on that are burst of speed, for the cast rate, the shadow master and deathsentry. It should work out very well in the end..... I will try and keep you posted

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OK People, I'm sorry but never listen to anyone unless they have a 80+ character. If you go usin some lvl 21 newbs strategy you will suck very quickly. Ne way, the most effective assassin i have found to be the light sentry assassin. Max it at 20, get bartuc's and a ss and you should be able to massacre cows. Pop up 3-4 traps and melee the cows, Fairly easy. Use least 1 soj for the mana increase +skill and maybe a 7m/6l duel leach ring as the other. Enjoy

Lvl 87 Bartuc_legionare

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I have read most of the posting here. I find my way of playing entirely different. Iím taking the Ninja style assassin. Let me explain. Traps are good. So are Burst of speed and double claw style. Iím sure you guys reading knows that. What about the skill of Blade fury. Throwing shurinkens out at monsters. How cool is that? Very! A Ninja in Diablo who can set traps, Fade, run at inhuman speed, calls out to her shadow and throw little blades that puts most melee weapon to shame. When max out, what you would be looking at is a 101-103 damage that cost you 8 mana points. Do the math on how much you can deal out with 2 bottles of blue berry juice? Its crazy. The shadow will lock in melee and you can take a good back seat and watch Dioblo or Baalís life meter go down. Try it. Tiger strike puts yourself at too much risk and traps are too slow.

Level 38 LocusEitmus

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sup. guys i have a lvl 76 assn and she kicks some ass. i use stomshield, umed gaze, cruel claw, string, shaft, 2ravens, and silkweaves. my assn is a hybird, meaning, i use both traps and martial arts. lvl 25 wake of fire and 25 d-flight, like 15 burst of speed and 15 shadow and use mind blast for dueling with ur traps and ur dragonflight . i only put 1 skill into tiger strike because get a couple of grand charms with +1 martial arts and it works out just fine. i honestly think that a hybird is the way to go. AND SCREW BARTUCS....THEY BLOW!!! there decent till u get to a high enough lvl but i hate em. im mainly a pvp assn and i really dont know how u can be a power acting char because assns cant do that much damage really......well they suck in cows any way. well gl if u use my advice peace!

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I found that dealing with physical immunes your best bet is to use Phoenix Strike Charge 1 (if Fire Immune as well use charge 2). The speed at which you can rain down those meteors is insane. It doesn't take very many to waste most enemies even on hell difficulty where most of the physical immune monsters are.

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first of all, im a lvl 21 assassain,i can kill a act 5 monster in like 15 seconds,wanna know how?ok ill tell u,U MUST HAV THE COBRA STRIKE IN ORDER TO SUCCIDE!u will also need to hav a few items,the blood cresent scimitar,bramble shell bone sheild, and a ring that replenishes 4 life,AND THIS IS A MUST,U MUST HAV ALL OF THESE ITEMS!and 4 the cobra strike u only need like 2 points,but u can put as many as u want,i just think it would be a waste of points.i wish u good luck.

lvl 80 druid Gaszna,lvl 21assassain BladeUser

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If u want a kick ass assassin this is wat to do max out dragonflight tiger strike clawmastery and about 15 to burst and get some points into weoplan block. get the nats set and a bartuks and ull rail

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my strategy is you either have to be a trap assassin or a martial arts assassian. Shadow fits in with both. martial arts is great for dueling unless you want dragon tail maxed out with tiger strike.Charge up moves that give you abilitys suck. because it takes way to long.if your going to duel get tiger strike dragon claw dragon flight burst of speed weapon block fade cloak of shadows and shadow master. Max out tiger strike and shadow master.Get 10-15 levels in the rest of these skills.
If you want to be a trap assassian then get all shadowskills i already told you to get. the traps you should get is blade fury wake of inferno death sentry and blade shield.lightning sentry is good but death sentry does the same amount of damage with a extra effect.max out shadow master and death sentry get many levels in all of the other moves i told you to get.

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Ok well I can tell that there are quite a few people out there who have made these assassins and seem to be very proud of them, altho im not completely sure why, most of these strategies are bragging about doing like 1,000 dammage, cause they are maxing skills that u only need 1 point in. ie. Dragon flight- the only reason anyone should use dragon flight is for dueling, or getting out of large mobs of monsters. Well, thatís my 2 cents on your strategies. So now for mineÖ
My assassin is an all around assassin, I have a few skill points inevery tree, and ALMOST everyskill(the ones I donít have points in I kno arent worth the points. Im going to begin with stats, my assassin has JUST enough strength to be able to use the armor I need, because puttin too many points into str is just a waist, let charms give u those last few str points. As for dex? Theres quite a few in there because dex increases ur dammage. Vitality can never have enough points, everything else is good but a lot of vit is really helpful, I donít have a whole lot, I could use more, but it seems to suffice (if u have enough life leech that is) and for energy, u donít need exedingly large amounts of mana, but u DO need enough to be able to wail on something that u cant leech a whole lot off of (ie physical immunes)
Now onto the skills, there are a few u want to max, and a few u only need a point or 2 in altho they remain usefull at such low levels. Tiger strike is worth all the points, itís a boss killer, and I use it when there are a few strong enemies around, but when im completely surrounded, I use pheonix strike NOT for its dammage cause even at high levels its pathetic, I use it for the freezing effect. Some people say for freezing, blades of ice is the way to go, but its not, it DOESNíT freeze stuff, and has a small radiuse anyway, phoenix strike is what I use in cows, it will freeze them so I can focus on one or 2. And if u have no leech, or low leech amounts, I would hotkey cobra strike cause at lvl 3(I think) it leeches 100%life (very helpful against mana burers, just keep it on and hold on the atttack, youíll get a few charges with it then when ur mana is burnt away, charges get released and ur mana all comes back! Now, For a finishing move? Cragon claw is def the way to go, even at low lvls it boosts ur dammage even without charges. But when ur in a sticky situation, use dragon flight, the dammage sux, but if u get 3 phoenix strike charges then it work beautifully, also dragonn flight is the martial artists duelersí skill of choice, u can get away from those nasty homin arrows or frozen orbs fast! Or if they run? U can cath up nicely too, bu since there is a delay in there, ur merc or shadow will most likely get that kill. For shadow disciplins, u only need 1 point in burst of speed, let ur items boost it up, cause u donít get as much in return at the higher levels. Claw mastery is a must, put a lot there, and weapon block too (if u donít use a shield, I donít) shadow master is a VERY helpful skill, she will hold off those physical immunes while u cast any trap u choose. Traps, I recommend u put a few into a fire one, cause MORE things have high lightnin resists then fire resists (especially duelers) death sentry is a GODLY skill, I can clear out entire cow levels by myself with it, just kill 2 cows right nextws can kill about 7 live ones, those 7 live ones can kill a lot more! Its nice!
Recommended equipment, natís set. Some people say it sux, but it eems to work for me. Monster dammage from the claw, a lot of resist and leech from entire set, and 3 to skills? Cmon! Bartucs fr the other hand, 2 more to skills and another to martial arts. Venom grip gloves for the life leech and for the poison resist, a raven frost(sooo helpful!!) for my belt I use nasferatuís coil, its nice, life leech, 10%slow target(illigal for duels) and 15 to strength. My other ring is a soj, altho I really want bul-kathosí weddingband, 1 to skills AND life leech. But I cant get it, oh well. For ur other weapon, I recommend a bow, for when u just cant seem to stay alive when ur hittin the enemy. I use the kuko shakaku for the high elemental dammage. But others might have different prefernces.
For a merc I use an act 2 defiance guy. He has monster def so he stays alive a long time so he can boost my def. Hes the same lvl as me (81) and he uses the spire of honor with a NEF so he can get out of crowds of cows, he wears grizzyís armor, and wears talís helm for the life leech. He does 445-1203 dammage, and has 6186 def with his aura activated.
Now u want proof that this works? Well lemme run some numbers by youÖ I have 1468 def normally, but 4935 def with thatt merc I told you about. My normal attack dammage is 714-1236 (bartucs) 989-1296(nats) with 3 tiger strike charges and dragon claw as ur finishing move, 2328-4304 (bartucs) and 3332-4344(natís) but while using dragon flight, you can only do 1780-2380 with 3 tigerstrike charges.
Tigerstrike is lvl 17, but my items boost it to 26, and dragon claw is lvl 3, boosted to lvl 12, pheonix strike is lvl 11. Claw mastery is lvl 16, boosted to 27, weapon block ends up at lvl 24, and shadow master ends up at lvl 17 burst of speed ends up at lvl 12. Wake of inferno lvl 13, and death sentry lvl 15.
Well I hope my strategy helps anybody out if they start on an assassin project, and if u have any other questions, my account name is triggerhappy55 so whisper me if im on. Peace!

lvl 81 assassinv

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I have found traps to be a waste when it is time for killing cows so if you put too much into traps it is a waste. Anything over 5 or ten in wake of fire is a waste, Death Sentry does more damage then wake of fire at level 10. At level 5 it does more damage actually. No more then 100 strength unless you want to put too much into strength, dex is pretty good at 125 or so. Vitality is what anassassin need the most. As much vitality as you can put into it. Assassins don't need alot of mana so 50 or 60 points into mana would be fine. Bartucs are a must and nat's helm and boots. Shaftstop is what an assassin needs for aroum forget nat's armour. Bartuc's gives an assassin four points to all skills right off the bat. That is with two of them. That is a great assassin. No many traps but a few, more less making an assassin that way makes it so you can take alot of hits and not die as easily. It will work great in cows, and that means it would work great in the whole game.

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Many will say not to use a shield with an Assassin. I've experimented using both styles and have found using a shield isn't a bad idea. I seem to take out the goons just as effectively and I take a lot less magical/physical damage. With that said, here's pretty much how I set up my shield using assassin.

Skills:
Martial Arts: Put a skill (I have a couple on it) on cobra strike (steals life/mana), make it a F2 button. Make Normal attack a F1 button (or just have the hotkeys next to each other). Hit f2 .. strike 3 times.. hit f1 (releases charges) .. hit f2 again etc. You don't even have to let go of the mouse. A great way to stay healthy. This is my most commonly used fighting tactic (doesn't work all the time of course).
Cobra and tigerstrike are the only 2 I bother with in this section of the tree. I only have 5 points in tigerstrike right now (I'll dump more pts in TS as my Assn levels).
Shadow Masteries: Max out claw mastery of course (doesn't have to be done immediately, can take your time doing this).
Burst of speed: 7 to 10 points (I'm not noticing much difference between 7 and 10 .. maybe slow computer?).
Traps: I just went down the left side until I got to corpse explosion. I now have about 3 points on corpse explosion, I plan on putting a few more. Does good damage, it's fun to watch too. :)
Shadow Warrior of course... throw some points on mind blast (that's fun to use too).
I don't bother with fade or venom. I like my speed (another good reason for the shield, more resistances).

Jay

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im confussed, you all have these really high level assasins but from what i have read i dont understand how you kill imune to pyhsical, i am a level 57 assasin and i am having real probs dealing with the immune to pyhsical stuff, i have some good stuff but i dont trade cause i know then that my stuff isnt cheat stuff, i have shit claws, but i have managed to fight the whole nats set, fat lot of good this does me as i cant were half of it yet, due to items i have 95% immunity to fire, and can cast level 8 blaze. not that it seems to help much. is there any charge up thats good for elemental damage cuse im stuggling here. hunter lv 57

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First off for assassain 20 in claw mastery is a must. i have a lvl 65 assain on bnet us east using 200ed bartucs, and lidless,nats helm, nats boots, smoke rune word armour, 2xravenfrost, string of ears, catseye ammy. Its supposedly a pvp assain. i maxed Dragon flite which is awsome in duels, dealin over 1000+ dmg when u get over 20 skillls in it, next i maxed shadow master which is more for monsters than duels, it deals as much dmg as u do and makes good use of nearly all ur skills. i have a couple of skills saved up and will prob get either litnin sentry, or wake of fire, with 1 point in tiger strike. lit sentry deals over 200dmg when maxed-shoots 10 times, wofire deals barely 100 dmg when maxed -shoots 5 times , yet shoots alot faster than lit sentry, and rapes p who don't have fast hit recovery,plus it is a fire enchanted attack , while most peeps use litesabres, ravenfrosts,thundergods, while few people use the rising sun. despite what most peeps think 1 skill in burst of speed is enough when u kan use so many things that add skillz, and since bospd doesn't get as high as a bonus when u put more skills in it. my assain also uses 8+ inertia charms 4 alot of frw. the main disadvantage of the assain is it's disablity in cow lvls, so its a good idea 2 get shaft, and gaze thru tradin , along with a storm. Nats claw is also a nice weapon which i have saved up when i reach lvl 79 yet i have a hard time lvlin from now on .

my account is *azn_bornki11a andmy assains name is "theartofpk"

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In my Opinion This is wat u need to do for a awsome assassin For items u should try to get the whole nats set and have a bartucks handy. for skillz the best thing to do is max tiger strike,burst of speed,and dragon flight after that u should choose either putting points onto Shadow master or claw mastery

Mystical_Toad12 lvl 89 assassin

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for the assasin the best is to
max-clawmanestrey, about 7 points in weapon block, about 8 or more in burst of speed, you should max shadow master, try getting wake of inferno high, some say traps art helpful but they are it can do about 250 damage in one blow and you can cast 5 so thats 1250 dame by each one of thosse in one hit., dont waste time on venom you need the speed for fighting, mind blast is helpfull 1-2 in that, you dont need martial arts at all, though blade sheild is helpfull for bosses level 3
here is somethings help full assasin get a (3 or more socketed ancient armor) and put perfect rubyies in them your health will go up about 114 and it is very help full.
also get a helm that does damage reduced, i have a helm that does dameage reduced by 25 and a amulet that is dameage reduced by 15 so that equals to 40 damage reduce and it is very help full.
strength 2points, dextarity 2points, vitality 1point , energy 0. when you get to a higher level and your strength is about 180 have 1 to strength, 2 to dextarity and 2 to vitality.
i have a level 62 assassin and she has 755 life and hits by with both weapons 630-1100 she kicks with the burst of speed she is at hell difficulty act 1

chris

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-assassin- NOTE: no matter what ppl say, these can be the best character when made right!!!! my lvl 4 assassin 1 hit blood raven with a lvl 5 skill. MAX OUT TIGER STRIKE!!!!! im only lvl 5 in it and it does 460% ur regular damage with 3 charges, maxed out it is probly around 800%, meaning that if u normally hit, lets say, 1500, u can hit like 10000. also max out death sentry, shadow master, burst of speed, and claw mastery which u should be able to do if u complete all of the skill giving quests.

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For all the assassins out there, i suggest you all ignore traps completely. They wil not get you very far in the game at all. I would first focus on tiger strike and claw mastery. Max them both. the only finishing move you need is dragon claw. You should also get Burst of Speed to level 10 because beyond that point, it does not help you at all. Do not waste ur points on venom, if you do, you can't use Burst of Speed. Shadow master is also a good option. I use it to distract the enemy along with ice sorceror hireling.I recommend getting 5 grand charms to increase martial arts skills, and 5 grand charms to increase shadow masteries. It may take a while but it is worth it. my assassin has +17 to martial arts skills and +15 to shadow masteries with all my equipment. I highly recommend 2 bartucs claws each socketed with a shael rune. Combined with Burst of speed you can attack very fast, and with life leaching equipment your health shoots right back up when you are hurt.

Speedy_squirrel level 99 assassin.

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For the assassin get max out venom tiger and tiger strike. 10 todragon claw and burst and max shadow warriar for a cool assassin

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yo i have a lvl 97 ass ain and i tell ya i maxed out fire wall cause is useful in beginn if ya think it just try it at lvl 25 its usefulall i tell ya its inly thind=g ya need!!!!!!!!!

assnpololvl 95 assain

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Hey yall, Now everybody has over level:50 Assassins here right? Well I don't! Try a level:27(still growing) that defeated Diablo at level:25! I just kept putting my skill points on 'martial arts'! Tiger strike rules against big bosses! Well it killed Morphesto in two hits with only about 5 points on it. I use Thunder Claws around the battlefeild to hit muiltipul enamys. I have put enough points on 'shadow disapins' to get a shadow for some assistance. But don't be salfish, hire people! They bloody help! But be ready to spend some time on killing Diablo! If you go straight up to him you, for some reason keep missing, so keep him bussy attacking you shadow or something and get him from behind and charge up the tiger strike and... WHAMMO!!! Traps are OK but are too weak against big enamys. I have dragon claw on my left and thunder claw on the right and im kicking sweet, sweet Demon ass!!! Have fun training!

From an Assassin trainer(lvl:27+)

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ok i have a level 70 assassin and let me tell you, i dissagree with most of you about charge up skills- THEY SUCK! heres what ya need to do-get your claw mastery up to like 20and have two claw class weapons equipped at all times. oh, and do anything to get two talons or claws becuz they rock! also, get some good traps like lightning, they help, trust me.

-ViperClawLev.70Assassin

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Some of u i agree with but most of u r low levs and some high levs im a lev 76 assasin i have a level 21 lightning sentry olny level 21 but there amazing ive killed level 95 zon and level 91 barb with them! same with shadow master level 21 it kicks! it kills sorcs easy! level 10 phoenix strike its ok for a whil and level 10 burst and level 10 venom sometimes power is the way to go speed is sometimes good too ,but thing is how do i get all those rares easy like u guys like bartuks claws and nats claw and stormsheild?

Lev 76 assasin: DarkFate_killa

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One thing im going to say about an assassin is that the trap skill death sentry should not be overlooked, and if u think its useless go fight Nihlatek in hell. This trap does 40-80% of corpse life which in hell is vicious considering the amount of life of things in hell. at level 33 or so u can do hell cows alone. It will take a lot of mana but how many characters can do this. First use mind blast to convert some cows, then cloak of shadows to weaken the non-converted cows. As soon as any cow dies (yours or not) start using Death Sentry. You will discover that u can use the dead cows to massacre the living ones.

Terradeus Level 74 Assassin

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Hey ive been reading through these strategies and i reckon that most of em arnt as good as the one ive developed. the best thing to do with Assasin is only max out a few skills of hers. with ur first skill put it on tiger strike. second skill on dragon talon. then put all skills on tiger strike until it maxes out. this way when u have 3 charges, u will be doing around 1500% damage. u dont need to use a finishing move to release the charges so just use normal attack on minions. however its handy to have the finishing move to add a little extra when battling bosses. at the moment my assasin is only level 21. now im planning on maxing out claw mastery and after that weapon block. although im only new with the assasin my current way if using skill points is working out fantastically. it took me 4 kicks with dragon talon (each with 3 charges) to kill Andarial. She was dam easy. When i got to Duriel it was a bit harder but not much. i only used 3 healing potions while fighting him. Throughout the game ive only died once so im not doing to bad. i dunno what to do with the rest of my points when iv finsished on weapon block. maybe max out dragon claw cus it does more damage than dragon talon. i dunno if this method will help any of you but hopefully it does. btw assasin is the best character. when i get to around 50 i might add another one of these to reveal whether my wonderful plan will work. until then i remain

'Renegade' lvl 21 Assasin

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I am a level 70 assassin that has had the easiest time going through the game. My character has researched every skill and i have a pretty good idea on which are good and which ones are useless. Tiger strike is the best charge up and the only reason to research the others is to help take out groups of immune to physical enemies. Cobra strike, however, is very useful when fighting easy enemies and you dont want to waste life potions.Use dragon claw as finisher. Dragon Flight is fun, but especially useful when you get trapped in a corner you can teleport out. The shadow masteries are fun but there are only a few you should count on. I come to the topic of the shadow people. When you reach the required level of shadow warrior and beyond only put 1 skill into it. It is much better to wait for shadow master. This is a given. Burst of speed is the best shadow mastery. At a good level the assassin can be extremely fast. Speed is a must with the assassin. Venom was useful when fighting immune to physical ghosts in forgotten tower but is useless now. Mind blast is an incredibly good skill for buying time. Plop a shadow master next to a group of enemies, mind blast them, kill one, and let death trap take over. Corpse explosion is the best skill in the game so death trap is a nice comprimise. I have pretty bad stuff because i dont often trade and this is probably the reason i am stuck on the ancients in hell. For claws i have on Bartuc and another unique claw that ignores target defense and +1 to assassin skills. Socket the bartuc claws with something that does %damge to demons or the such. I have tal rasha's belt, naj's circlet socketed with amythyst, and gravepalm gloves. I also have sanders boots for the speed and tremendous attack rating. With the %bonuses from bartucs and the such it adds up.My amulet has +1 to assassin skills and 27 fire resist and 13 resist the rest. It also does +15 to strength.

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I think necros are cool. Old Mans max out revive if you like because you will need it in Hell and Cow Games. Iron Maiden works the best . Never Melee attack something. More likely you don't put points in life, all in energy. Poison Nova I am working on. It is more powerful than the Sorceress' Nova. Iron Maiden is very important going thru Hell. If you have a chance of getting power acted, take that chance and tell the person to let you have all that drops. When your power act is done you have a lot of weapons to play with. If you put them in the right way you can be a god. I have a level 32 Necro in Act 4 Hell, he never gets hit.
(This happened to me. Once this one person was making a SOJ for me. He had to kill me 4 times. The 4th time all my stuff dropped to the ground. Take my example of stupidity. Don't trust hackers. I play by myself. If I can only take power acts from people that I know and seen in person. Food luck on whatever you are doing on Diablo

LVL98NECRONAMEYAAMEAN , LVL32NECRONAME YAMEAN

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I really like ur stratagies, but i prefer mine alot more.
first things first: Items -- Claw n shield or claw n claw?
My answer: claw claw. Y? You can do alot more damage with claw and claw, u go twice as faster. all u need is good defence to make up for ur shield. well ne way, bartuks claws are awsome, do whatever u can to get'm. You get +2 to all asn skillz and another +1 to shadow diciplines. Socket both of these from and put a P skull (or find a better life drainer rune or jewel), it really helps if u dont have shield. i use a griswold armor (just for defence). i just find the best def helm i could find. i use a +2 skillz ammy, and 2 soj's. boots... uhh... i like sanders cuz it makes me faster. Ne way, with all these, i got mass skillz and power
Skillz: Like half the ppl on bnet, i prefer Tiger Strike, BUT THATS NOT ALL. Combine this with Blades of ice (lvl 5) and cobra strike (lvl 3) max out tiger strike. With this, u should do mass dam, get life (plus ur life leach) and freez the hell outta ppl. get claw mastery to lvl 15, dont go further. busrt o speed lvl 7, and max out the shadow master, she HELPS ALOT! hmm... merc? i dunt care. if act 1, ice, act 2, defence, 3, ice or lightning (fire just sux), act 5, the highest lvl barb u can find. I use a act 2 defence merc. just put a nice armor armor with skullz, weapon with skullz, and helm with skullz so he wont die. All the traps suck, just get blade shield with it, i have BS at lvl 7. also if u can, max out dragon claw (for mass damage)

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Okay, I saw TONS of strategys that only help for a level 50 and above. Right here I will tell you the esayest stategies to kill almost anyone. Before I go on, I want to mention that im on level 25, and this hints and tips are VERY good since I defeated Duriel by just using ONE healing potion. For Skill lay outs, dont begin putting 20 points into one skill. First put one in each of them. First put 1 level into each of the level one skills. Yup, u should have 1 level in each of them by level 5. That is except Claw mastery. Claw mastery will really help u, but if u are not using claws( Which i suggest u do) then save the other skill point. Fire blast is perfect in act 1. Go to a fallen camp with shamans and lure the fallen ones together so they chase u. Once about 5 of them get together, shoot out a fireblast! All of them will be dead and it takes up VERY little mana. Once level 6 put a skill point in each of the level 6 skills in every tree. Put one extra one in fist of fire, or if you saved a skill previosly, but the other one in burst of speed. Level twelve do the same thing with the skill layout and put the extra one in wake of fire or fist of fire. Do the strategy by placing one point in each skill tree skill. Like level 12 put one in each skill, and same on in the rest of them. This way, You'll have all the prequisetes. Later on place skill points in the following:
Cobra Strike: 2-3 skills here. This is a very inportant skill throughout the game and u can kill bosses Esaliy, too esaly. You heal while u attack. WHat could be better? I dont belive in finishing moves, since u can just use ur normal move as a finishing move.
Shadow warrior: 2 levels. This warrior uses 2 of ur selected skills. A dublicate of you.
Mind blast: As many as you want, up to 3. This is perfect from act 2-4
Wake of fire: 3 skills. This wipes out almost any one, so use it until u get wake of inferno.
Wake of inferno: 1-3 skills. Shoots ten times, and is a deadly machine. ANy need to say more?
Level 30 skills, put as many as you want in them. Once level 37, start putting skills in cobra strike, and your normal weapens and charge up skills. Also put them in claw mastery.

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Yo! I got a lvl 53 assassin and i'm gonna tell ya, all you need to do is dump all your freakin' skill points into the charge ups and claw mastery. Don't bother wasting any of your skill points on the other junk. My shadow master dies in one hit at everything in act 4 nightmare. My merc is always dead, even though i gave him a whole freakin set. Try to use as many charge ups as possible so you look all colorful and them WHAM! Nail everyone on the screen. Use pheonix strike a lot and cobra strike is pretty wicked, but the blades of ice and claws 'o' thunder are nice to. Dragon Flight also kicks butt, and it's better than all the other finishing moves. It's really hard to light yourself up because the enemies are all dead by the time your charged up. Just remember to stick to the charge ups and you'll be ok. And if you really want to, you can put some into venom but i don't recomend it because all the guys in nightmare and hell have resistences. Fade is ok, but in hell you have -100 and you don't want to waste the skill points, you're going to be in the negatives anyway, unless you got some good armor like me. Currently, all my crap is unique or set, and i have 800 health. Just try to put some skill pionts into strengh, dex and vitality. Don't waste it on mana

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First thing to do is dump about 10-13 points into claw mastery, it does wonderz. Next, Weapon block is a must. I personally do not use traps, they dont do that much damage in the long run. I am a level 53 assasin and i already do about 4000 damage using dragon claw. I use 2 bartucs at the moment, but i am workin on Nat's m 1/2 there. Anywayz, back to the point! Put some good amount of points into dragon claw. I prefer Phoenix and Cobra strike as my charge ups! Phoenix can end up killin more than 1 person when released, and on the third charge can freez people even in hell. Cobra is just Straight up TIGHT! U can take a whole grip of life. NATalyas set is a TOTAL gotz to hav.

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If your a new Ass and looking through these strategies, you'll see alot of people giving alot of conflicting advice. I would suggest that if the person posting is under level 80 you should ignore their advice completly, on the basis they have not played the game enough to really give good advice. (That seems to be everyone who has posted with the exception of Asn-Xx!)
After giving that sound pearl of wisdom, I'm now going to ask you to suspend that rule and read what tips I have on this great class! SKILLS: Although you want to bring your CM, WB and BoS up as fast as possible, here is what you should have to maximise your Assassin's unbelieveable fighting abilities. If I dont speak about them, you don't need them. (A fast note on Traps - they all SUCK, even at max level, only put points in to get BS - dont believe me? Go check the skills page)
BoS - 8 - That's all you need and after that the bonus drops off rapidly - items will bring you up after that.
WB - 10 - Like with BoS, after about 10 WB drops and items will kick in.
Claw - 15 - dont bother with any further points - your Power-up and Finisher are more important.
SM - 5 - This is really a personal preference - your SM combined with a ranged (freezer) hireling do very well holding the crowd back, higher SM last longer.
BS - 20 - Enuff said
TS - 20 - TS is THE most important Ass skill and the ONLY power-up you should invest in.
DC - 20 - DC is the ONLY finishing move you should bother with.

Now, why should you do it this way? Ok - BoS and BS are both timed effects, so you can keep them up constantly - BS past about lvl 5 makes you pretty much invunerable whilst it's up, too. Claw gives you a nice speed boost that is useful, and WB gives about 40% block which is just a godsend, as both of these are innate you just don't lose having them anyway.
Now, how about those mouse-buttons? Assign one to your TS and the other to DC. These puny-drain-on-the-mana skills give you at 20 a total of 1440 dammage, +230% attack Rating for the TS, finishing with the DC adds a further +230% AR and +145% dammage. That translates into every 4th attack equalling a minimum of 3528+ ((claw 1 + claw 2) damm*2.45), and with your AR = AR*5.60 for that hit. To give you an example, with 2 Bart's claws with Pul runes (+75% damm demons) your gonna hit a boss (depending on your str and lvl of course) for about (((200+200)*1.75)*2.45)+3528) = 5200 dammage every 4th, which absolutly flattens them. For doubters, I can solo any boss I've pitched my Ass against so far in a full 8 player game in Nmare - as well as soloing, yes soloing, the Guardians in a full 8 game at lvl 31 with normal gear for that lvl!
STATS: I'd suggest STR and DEX are advanced equally throughout. You just don't need Mana, so forget ENERGY, and put a decent amount into VIT after your STR and DEX hit 71.
ITEMS: I only have a couple of tips here, as if youve made your Ass as I've suggested she wont be equip reliant anyway, but -
1 IGNORE Natalyia's - you can get far better uniques and runeworded items that give you better bunuses.
2 DO GET ASAP 2 Bart's Claws, and rune them with Pul if your PvM or Jah if your PvP
3 As you use BoS constantly, you need resist gear like most other classes.
4 Do get some 30% run boots, and maybe some %run other gear too - its great fun to be faster that a bad sorcs tp, and very useful for the Assassin's other skill - running away!


Of_Balance 38 Ass (x)
Andra 85 Ama (c)
AndraII 80 Sor (c-x)

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First of all, i read most of your strategies, and I do agree with most of them. I have a level 75 assassin that does massive damage compared to what you guys are saying you are doing. First of all let me tell you what weapons and armor I am wearing. I am using two Bartuc's Cut-Throat Claws, due to the damage and mainly because of the skill points additions. For my armor, as soon as I get to level 79, then I will be able to wear the whole set of Natalya's Odium. In which case I'll move one Bartuc's Claw to my second weapon. I am wearing two SOJ's and also a +2 Assassin amulet. My inventory consists of a +1 to shadow discipline and a +1 to traps. I am wearing Natalya's Odium boots, armor (+2 to assassin skills), and another helmet that gives +1 to skills (which will be traded out as soon as I can wear whole set) , and my gloves are a unique that have 106 def, and poison resist and length reduced, and deals poison damage itself. Basically I am adding +9 to all, +3 additional to shadow discipline, +2 additional to martial arts, and +1 additional to traps. I have for my normal attack, either Tiger Strike (slvl 21) or Claws of Thunder (slvl 12). Then for my other Hotkeys, I have my Burst of Speed (slvl 19), Fade (slvl 15), Shadow Master (slvl 12), Lightning Sentry (slvl 16), Wake of Inferno (slvl 12) and Mind Blast (slvl 13), and Cloak of Shadows (slvl 13). I also have a level 29 Claw Mastery and a level 16 Weapon Block. I am doing on average between with each claw 500-1400 plus I also included Life Leech and Mana Leech, so there for I can go through Hell Cows with out any problems. I use my traps, Shadow Master, sometimes my Merc (most of the time w/o cause he dies too much). Anyways, whoever tells you traps don't work, they don't know much about them, 'cause they help you deal out damage all the while smothering them with as much as 1200 damage from each claw. Add Life Leech and Mana Leech, you will have no problems staying alive. Anyways, I'm most of the time, and I can be reached at *kaygdanimal, *kaygdanimal2. Or you can email me at kaygdanimal@hotmail.com. Whatever, you want some strategy help on Assassin or just to play around on Diablo 2 let me know.

Lvl 75 Assassin - DeadlyWeaponry - *kaygdanimal2
Lvl 60 Druid - Kaygdanimal - *kaygdanimal - my first character and he sucks at living and slow at leveling

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In reading all these tips here I'm amazed at how different from most people I play this character. But it works! This setup, which is more for melee fighting instead of traps, will work - give it a try.
First off -- the old argument of claw/shield or claw/claw -- hey knuckleheads! how about BOTH! -- that's right! both. My 67 Assassin (hey, I'm married, I don't have the time to play as much as some of you kids) has two hot claws for my main fighting - I wish I could find some of those set item claws but for now these are hot enough. One is hotter than Bartuc's actually, with +2 to skills, manna/life steal etc. and both claws are VERY FAST speeds --- speed is a must in my book. Let's face it - if you can hit your enemy 10 times to his one -- he's going to be dead before he gets his first try. You also have to find as many items as possible that give manna and/or life steal. As my character is now I don't need to use the Cobra Strike -- my hits fill me up completely so why waste the points? So, my main fighting is dual claw. This combo works great for the MAJORITY of the fighting where YOU DON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT RESISTANCES -- even in hell! And don't forget, if you are only using one claw, then you're wasting any points you put into Weapon Block, which only works when two claws are equipped. When I encounter an electrified or aura enhanced boss I simply hit the letter "W" on my keyboard and SHAZAM! My assassin instantly switches to weapon configuration 2 where I have this nifty "Aldur's Rythm" set item mace (yes, a mace -- I'll switch if I ever find another claw that is hotter) that does large enough damage and has heavy manna/life steal to boot AND my other hand has the ol' RalOrtTal "Ancients pledge" shield that instantly bucks my resistance up to take on the Boss. As soon as I find a better 2-socket armor I will pop in a NefLum to make smoke armor that adds 50% to all resistance. Why waste the points in Fade?? I Keep Burst of Speed running all the time. I only have 8 points in it but that in conjunction with some charms PLUS the very fast speed of the claws (and mace!) means I get alot of hits in and can run circles around the enemy. So give up the argument over claw/claw vs.claw/shield -- use them BOTH! ROTFL.
So where did I put my points? On the Traps tree I use only "wake of Inferno" where I have 6 points (from +skills items). I only use this for the bosses -- I pop down 6 traps around the boss (any more and they spontaneously and ineffectively blow up) and begin wacking the hell out of him. Hey, it's extra "free" damage so to speak -- give him a shower of fire. The problem with the WOI is it doesn't work well with moving targets - that's why I only use it on the bosses when I and my Shadow Master can keep him in his place. I know alot of people like the Death Sentry but I'm a melee fighter and I can usually take out crowds fast enough where it doesn't really matter - plus, I use the act3 cold merc so alot of the enemy shatter into nothing. In short - with my setup the Death Sentry doesn't have very many bodies to blow up. Necros don't like teaming with me for the same reason. :) The Blade Fury and Blade Shield sound interesting and I might use them some day -- I just haven't found the need yet because, well, I like to FIGHT not stand back and throw things! If I could max inferno out I would ( it does the most base damage of ALL the traps) but for now I need the points in other things like.....
Shadow disciplines: I have 15 in mastery (will max it eventually) 10 in speed and 12 to Block (all augmented numbers from items). I'd like to put more in the speed and block but higher than this, the pay-off isn't but a few extra percentage points. If I ever have spare points I'll pop some in there. There just never seems to be enough points to go around, huh? My Shadow Master is at 8 and again, more points will be spent there as well - at this point he lasts long enough and I have him hot keyed so I can quickly pop him back up if he gets killed. Fade and Venom, I feel to be a waste of points. Mostly because they over-ride the Speed but also because ITEMS will give you those benefits so why waste the points? For poison I have some charms that do 100, 50 and 30 damage over 4 seconds. As I get more high poison charms I'll keep 'em. Quick word of warning on the charms though. Check your damage out when you get a new one by bringing up your stat screen and then lifting and setting the charms down again to see the difference in damage. I've had poison charms that actually LOWERED my damage when in use due to the way Dibalo2 averages/mixes the damage to account for the different time spans. Eg: when one is "over 2 seconds" and another is "over 7 seconds". If you get different charms, double check your damage to be sure you aren't inadvertantly lowering your damage. This leaves us with...
Martial Arts: Here, the spot I agree on with everyone is Tiger Stike. Mine is maxed out (22auged). I then only have 1 point in everything else (they get bumped to 6 by my items) but this is where I divert from everyone else -- my Dragon Flight (oh, I LOVE that move!) is at 18(auged) and will be maxed as soon as I can. What??? I hear some of you ask. Let me explain. First off -- If you think DF doesn't hit a moving target, well, you haven't invested very many points in it to see its benefits. I mean, come on! At 18, it adds 440% to attack (to HIT) rating - not to mention the extra kick (pun intended) to attack rating of 250% that Tiger strike at this level adds! Dragon Flight DOES hit -- and if not (rare now) well, I'm right there next to the bad monster to claw his eyes out, gee darn. lol Here's the run down on the fight: Left button is set to Tiger Strike so hits are always charging - remember, I have mucho manna/life steal so I NEVER run out even when dumping my WOI traps left and right. After hitting my F8 to do my Speed, I jump to F1 which sets my Dragon Flight. I then run and find monsters. When I see a group, I Dragon Flight in, doing 575% extra to base damage immediately on hitting - then I begin left clicking to charge Tiger Strike, moving to the next monster to finish the charge since the first one is already dead, then I hit F2 which changes my right click to Blades of Ice, hit a few times move to next monster, F3 to Fists of Fire - hit a few, move to next monster, F4 to Phoenix (IF ANYONE IS STILL ALIVE THAT IS), hit a few, move to next monster, F5 to Claws of Thunder, hit a few times and, Boys(and Girls) by this time my assassin is looking like a christmas tree with all these pretty, swirling colored charges. Then, if any one is left, I Dragon Flight to the middle of the largest group of monsters around (If any are left) and release. Oh! you gotta try it! To see them all go off at once! Freezing, zapping, fire burning! Bear in mind, my friends, my Tiger Strike charges to 1560% damage and the dragon flight adds 575% damage -- to ALL those charges. Can you see the damage inflicted?? If anyone is left standing I begin the process again. Seriously though, usually I don't have time to set all the charges as the group of monsters are usually already dead. I mostly end up running to find the next group to release the charges on. One thing cool with this set up is that as soon as I DF into a group, my merc immediately begins casting his freeze. I mostly am just charging tiger strike and releasing by DFing around within the group of monsters and my Shadow is also doing his thing which includes traps so why bother with my own? lol . This is enough to take out all the monsters. I do the "Christmas Tree" charge (everything) only with LARGE groups and bosses where I have the time to charge before everyone is dead. For bosses, it's real easy to pop a few WOI traps around him, DF in, multi-charge, back up a hair and DF right back in. The only problems I run into are with the electrified and aura bosses. But, then I just switch to my mace/shield combo-- the Tiger and Phoenix Strike still work and so does the Dragon Flight PLUS I have my resistance up. Once I get me some good "Smoke" (NefLum) Armor, the electrified bosses will be no problem at all.
Ok, so you've got your trap assassins that like to hang back and let their traps do the work --- I'm sure they're hot in their own right, but if you want to melee your assassin -- if you want to FIGHT -- give this scenario a try. It works great if you know how to use your hot keys. This set up works nicely for dueling too, depending on the character, because the DF does 575% extra to damage WITHOUT having to charge up. If they have minions and you get the chance to charge -- look out anyone! Necros are the best to duel because they have all those cute little monsters to charge up on and you can DF right out of their bone prison to wop them upside the head a few times. In dueling, a trap assassin may have an advantage because the melee assassin like mine needs to charge up to be FULLY effective but the 575% extra to damage without the need to charge is kind of nice in my book. Dragon flight is better than a sorc's teleport spell, as long as there is a target to DF to because it does damage -- AND Dragon Flight is more reliable in battle than teleport. I like the assassin almost as much as my sorc. :)
Have fun and remember -- It's just a darn game, people! ROTFL

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alot of people write these things with a melee char in mind but i went the way of the traps and i gotta say without bosting she rocks. There are only 3 skills worth their salt in the ASN skill tress i've found and yes i have tried all of them at one stage or another.
those skills are fade. death sentary and shadow master the shadow master is the best minion in the game easy, due to the fact that shadow master actually does damage to it's target, shock horror i know, as for the death sentary, the corpse explosion is the key to it, knock just one baddie down and then pop all gone and if by rare chance something does survive the carnage it's so weakened that your merc or minon can finish it off no problems, the 3rd usefull skill is fade and that's just to help with the resistances but that's the 3rd skill max out death sentary and shadow master first - only 10 points are needed in fade anyway, and the only elemental damage is from light enhanced baddies or oblivion knights so it's not a huge problem
i've also attempred to combine a trap and melee char with terrible results due to the fact that you spread your points too thin between your Dex and Energy - traps cost mana and dex is needed to use the top dmg weapons so get dex to 65 points and you can then get + to skill items in claws my normal points distrubution after getting to 65 dex is energy 3 Strength 1-2 and life 1-2 (stopped with the life point once i got to level 35)
a tip when killing bosses you summon such as evil urns or seals is to plant your traps before you open them and all hell brakes loose when you make your move

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geting assasin at a high level is ascuially easy just max out claw manestry and weapon block at 5-12. venom does a lot ith will inflict huge damage with venom i attack by 314-544 anyone except boss dont live past one hit lol. good strength and dex are very important expecially dex the higher the more you hert :)vitality put very high dont worry much on mana you really dont need that much i have about 100 and i dont need any more. put burst of speed at about 6. well here are some of the tips see you later

Chris

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LISTEN, its basically this. if ur a PK/fight(gameplay) assass you do ass this like mine. For stat points i put in strength and dex evenly then into energy till 40 cuz u need for traps and such. then once u have like 150 dex and strength(much more from items) you can pump the rest into vitality cuz you'll need alot. my 58 assass i figure ill lvl to 76 and dule at that, but right now my stats are: 140 str 140 dex 100 vit 40 eng (without item additions) also remember keeping dex and str more even give u higher AR and more of that = more hits!! for skills i put these: CLAW MAST(MAX), DRAG CLAW(10), LIGHT SENTRY(MAX), SHAD MASTER(BEING LVLED), DRAG FLIGHT(BEING MAXED), AND 1 IN MIND BLAST TO STUN UR ENEMIES IN DULES WHILE UR MASTER AND SENTRIES TEAR THEM UP.

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first of all, traps are for fools. the assassin is AMAZING in close combat against anyone, she's fudgin fast. claw mastery, claw block and tiger charge should be at 20 points , also shadow master is great. i had LITTLE PROBLEM killing Andariel at level 10 by myself , and i dont even have that great equipment.

In_famous - lvl22 - account name: jtmarlyn

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My level 20 Hardcore Assassin killed Diablo in normal mode! can you do faster than that? Other character? Don't think so! Assassin? Yes, Wake of Fire, put five of them and watch your enemy fried. Just make sure your Mana points is enough to handle all of them together. Mercenary, from Act 3, the one with ice magic. Put ethereal items on him and a magic resistance sword (he wont use the sword though).
Use the attributes point to hit point and mana point only. Remember, put the trap and run, dont get near to any enemy, dodge any arrow,spears and magic attack on you. Skip the quests if you will, face the Lord of Terror. Bring lots of mana potion, put 5 Wake of fire and start run when he does the fire and lightning inferno thing. Make run around him. Dont get too far from him (he'll use a jump attack on you)Always watch your blood, when it goes half, drink life potion. You'll make it..Remember, don't panic and don't use your weapon! (using a weapon will slow you down). Use your landscape for your benefits!, walls, pillars, rocks..use them wisely.
Now, can you kill Diablo with a character lower than level 20?

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Geez,now that's sad...It's been a while since I last looked at strategies here,but I see nothing has changed.People keeps saying there is only one way to make a character and that's totally wrong.I'm not here to tell anyone how to make his/her assassin,but to explain how each types works.
OK...first...the "Martial art assassin" is a term I don't like using since it's too vague,so I'll explain you how each skills works and then you'll be able to make your own assassin.
-Tiger strike - Pretty good skill,add alot of dmg to physical attacks and to all finishers,I recommend it to anyone going for a finisher such as dragon tail or dragon claw.
- Elemental charge-up - I don't like these for a simple reason,the dmg are ridiculous compared to any sorceress skills + they take much more time to cast than sorceress skills.
- Dragon tail - Okay...this is where it gets a lil tough to understand. The dmg of a kick such as dragon tail is calculated by a formula I don't know. In fact, it's quite simple : The more you have Dex and Str,the stronger it gets,Claws power has nothing to do with it. Easy heh? Dragon tail is nice when used with tiger strike since it deals lots of "fire" dmg to a group of enemy. ( By the way,Dragon tail doesn't deal real fire dmg,try it on phys. immuned and you'll see. ) But it's still useful against other enemies.
- Dragon Claw - This skill is a "boss" killer. It deals incredible dmg when combined with tiger strike,but only on a single enemy. Here though,the claws power matters.
- Dragon flight - Nice skill to have at least lvl one to teleport across chambers by usin it on your shadow masters. It's a nice dueling skill,but people rely on it too much. What I mean is that people tend to think that when you teleport,you hit the very second your on the enemy,it doesn't work that way. When you teleport on someone,there's a little delay before you attack,like one sec. or so,but it's enough for the enemy to move away. Try to have another finisher ready just in case.
There are also the so called "Trapassin" or "Trap sassy" , pretty nice when build correctly. There are really only 4 useful traps, Lightning Sentry(LS),Wake of Inferno(WoI), Death Sentry(DS) and Blade Fury(BF).
- LS and WoI - These two must be together,or you'll have to run away if you meet any immuned. The two of them deals high dmg (WoI does a lil more but has at a shorter distance ) But must be at lvl 30 + to kill cows in hell. Try to get + 2 all assassin skill claws or + 3 traps claws + Skin of vipermagi + a + 2 skill helm... you get the picture,trap assassins are for veteran players. LS and WoI are good when dueling meleers (Paladins,Barbs,Martial art assassins...)
But they have a big flaw,they deal elemental dmg,so most people have high resist and might even absorb the dmg to heal... - Death Sentry - That skill, even at a low lvl, is a cow killer. Why a cow killer? Did you already notice that cows always come in big groups? Which means that if 2 or 3 of em dies and you make their bodies explode,it'll probably make a gigantic chain reaction...
- Blade Fury - Sigh,to be honest, I hate that skill, but I saw it has some potential so I have to talk about it. Blade fury is a really crappy skill at low lvl but starts getting nice when you have it lvl 15 + and really nice when you have it lvl 30 + ....but it's a real mana drainer! Use it with less than 1000 mana and watch your mana going down fast than your life when you're poisoned by Achmel (Baal's unique unraveler) + it only hits one enemy at a time,for major dmg but still...it's your choice.
Other useful skills : - Burst of speed - That skill is just great,but don't lvl it pass 6 or so,since it doesn't really change a thing after,in fact,just put one point in it and let your + to skills lvl it. It boosts your attack speed and your running speed, which is really useful,mostly for martial artist.
- Shadow master - This is the best back-up you can get when you're a trap assassin. It fights,it casts Mind blast a lil too often, and it resist to about everythin except maybe cows swarms.
- Weapon block - This is your shield replacement. The block rate is pretty nice and it allows you to wield two claws instead of claw/shield.
- Mind blast - You like paladin's conversion? Mind blast is just like it but on a bigger area but doesn't last longer even if you lvl it up.
At last but not least,A skill that is really useful only to Dragon claw users... - Claw mastery - Adds great dmg,lots of AR and is a great add-up to tiger strike.


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Read much about much of the strategy here and i find that create a game assassin and dueling assassin is very different.First of all if ur assassin gets into hell mode, you find that traps is not totally useless in case if you did not forget that those unique monsters in hell are immue to physical so invest a few points into traps to make ur life easier in hell mode.For a dueling assassin max out tiger strike.With a good claws on hand,a +1440% damage is no joke to any opponent.The rest of the skill like C.M, C.B and mention ny the others and dragon claw could be ur best attack throughout the game as it cost only 2 mana and the damage bonus adds to ur claw damage.True that dragon flight provides a much higher bonus,but it onli gives the bonus to kick which depends on ur str so there is not much need to max out D.F dex is a must for assassin and str just get it to somewhere u could use the item u want and possible natalya odium is the set that every assassin needs.

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I know everyone thinks when you use an assassin you have to use your martial arts (charge-up and finishing moves). Thats dead wrong! I am using a trap/claw ass and she wrecks all opposition includineg higher-level (i dueled a level 95 martial arts ass when mine was still just level 80 and i won and only took about 500 damage out of 2,200 life). Also when using your traps remember that those fire and lightning based attacks are worthless; its a lot better to use the assassins blade abilities (blade sentinel, blade fury, and blade shield). Set blade fury on your left click and blade shield on your right click if you want to simply venture through the game and kill everything from afar with your blade fury and if any one gets close to you turn on your blade shild and just stay close to them (if you have it beyond level 5 then the enemy won't be able to attack until it turns off) and also keep throwing your bladefury so that once your blade shield turns off they'll prevent the guy from attacking (you'll need a large pool of mana to do thisd properly). Now if you're dueling someone then find out if they're using a melee or a missile character and arrange your clicks according to that (if they're using a missile or magic have blade fury and the fire trap on the cliks; if.they're using a melee character you should have no problem just put on blade shield and regular attack and have a hand on whatevr F# you need for blade fury in case they manage to get away from the fury of your blades). Now also make sure you havesome skill points into claw mastery and block as well as into shadow mastery.

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i have had the assassin for only a short while and to be honest all the talk about Martial Arts isn't that helpful to everyone. i am one of those players that is best suited to the Barbarian. i run in and fight. i started with some of the Martial Arts and they got annoying. they are good if you really level them up but when you get up to Diablo (normal) and beyond i find that your SHADOW MASTER is worth leveling up as well as VENOM, venom does wonders in a fight (venom poison's your weapon alot.) they both happen around level 30 so up till then work on CLAW MASTERY and WEAPON BLOCK and to a certain extent SHADOW WARRIOR (note you cannot cast both SHADOW WARRIOR and SHADOW MASTER) it is up to you it works for me. you can invest in traps and Martial Arts if you want in the early levels but i find unless you are willing to commit to them they are a waste of points. i wasn't willing so i lost a bit. it's ok if you lose a few points if you wanna see how something works. HAVE FUN AND REMEMBER IT IS A GAME AND YOU CAN REDO IT IF YOU WANT. ENJOY

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for assasians put your first 11 skill points into claw mastery then do weapon block till it gets 20 skill points under it then finish up with the claw mastery. then get 1 point under all the ones that you need for shadow warrior and shadow master then max out shado msater then go into traps and specialize in one or two trapes.

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I have had good luck up until fighting Diablo with my lvl 29 assassin. The Arcane Sanctuary was tough and Duriel was pretty tough, but everything else has been fairly easy in normal mode. I made it to Diablo at lvl 27, but have leveled up twice since trying to take the big guy out. I am almost to lvl 30. My Act I merc. is almost to lvl 29! The reason for the details is for one to see what might work, what might not work, and so on if one is to find these items. I haven't used the Horadric Cube on anything below. The combination I am using is as follows: Assassin: Synja
I have been using her more as a frontline type fighter rather than a sneaky assassin. Maybe that is wrong.
Strength-- 71
Dex-- 55
Vit.-- 62
E.-- 49

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my assassin is godly and never dies in duals. heres how to make it. the items are 2 bartucs, shaftstop, vampiregaze, string of ears. the helm armor and belt have lots of dmg reduce so u will not die easy. invest in enuf str and dex to use bartucs(they add enuogh str) then its all life and some energy. the skill are to max dragon flight, claw mast, double claw block, shadow master and death sentry. why death sentry? because when lvlin the corpse explosion is perhaps to good and i highly recommend using it. dragon claw is great put out only one skill in it because its not for duelin and with 2 bartucs thats 6 skill points to it anyway. i also reccomend using highlords wrath because of the deadly strike based on lv. 2 bul katho rings for leech and skills. the gloves and boots are up to you. i use gore rider and laying of the hands but there are better.cobra strike is useless bacause of the leech u have from your items so dont use it. put only one skill into phoenix strike because ur items will boost it by 6 or so and its pretty good for lvlin. remember to put dragon claw as ur normal attack and put phoenix strike, shadow master, dragon flight snd death senrty as the f1 f2 f3 f4 hot keys. oh yeah burst of speed is kool too. did i mention i never lost a dual with this assassin? try this assassin out and im sure youll like it because so far on ur strategy site, no offense, all the assassin strategies suk! thx for readin!

Matriarch Asn-Xx, Lvl 96

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burst of speed max (yes.... a bit dumb....)
tiger strike max
dragon tail max
cobra strike a little.
shadow master 1
hmm. yes that's all you need. have lot's of charms that does elemental damage.
I am level 62 at act 5 fighting the ancients at hell level. my resistance is 75 to all. :( but the ancients are just too darned powerful. will probably give up playing diablo cos i don't think i can defeat the ancient in single player mode.

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I've used my assassin for a long time and my strategy is for LOD 1.09 dual weilding assassins: First I'll start with skills. if your going to dual weild don't worry about traps. Put 20 into tiger strike (14X dmg. at lvl. 3 charge when maxed) and 1 into every other charge up. As for finishing moves, I prefer dragon claw because it is specifically for dual weilders.
20 into claw mastery is a must for any assasin. Put about 10 into burst of speed and 5-10 into weapon block. Put points into shadow mastery(your shadow is excellent in diverting attention and contolling crowds of monsters). For equipment, natalya's set is a must! 15% dual leech, 50 to resists, +3 skills, and other good mods. For your other claw I suggest bartucs. As for stats put only enough points in strength for equipment! Dexterity will bring up your attack power just as well as strength, so dump your stats into it. Get a good amount of life, but don't over-do it(I rely on charms for life). NO ENERGY, unless you really want to use traps.

Matriarch NinjaGuy, lvl. 82

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OK, i got here an assassin lvl 34, my strategy consist in a dual hot-key combo in phoenix strike + cobra strike at primary weapon, and the second button to dragon claw and dragon tail. its very powerful three hits of phoenix and a tail kick, but got a problem... consume HUGE MANA!, so i recommend for avoiding "out of mana situations" toggle cobra + dragon claws, its less mana consuming. For special bosses be patient and summon a shadow master, first use burst of speed, then hit three times with phoenix, and switch it to tiger strike/cobra trike, hit it three times more, and the kill him with dragon tail!!!, its very powerful combination. It the fool has vidala boots (getting trouble on neighborhood? heehh), use dragon flight instead. It worked very well for a li`l fight against a lvl 31 druid (and all his zoo), lvl 33 pally, lvl 32 sorceress and, at last, a necromancer with lvl 46!! (my assassin have lvl 34 at the moment!), so if you train this well, youīll never be in town looking for potions, because you will beatīem before you use you belt at all, thats all.

BlasterMaX, lvl 34 assassin so far

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I have played my single player Assassin to level 46 so far, and am doing quite well. The only reason I'm posting this is that I seem to have taken a different tack to most people already posted: I have used a non-traps Assassin. I started out investing points in Claw Mastery, Tiger Strike (of course!), Dragon Claw (with high damage on both hands and charges working on both sides, you can rip any one opponent to pieces), Cobra Strike, Fade, Burst of Speed, and Weapon Block. Later, I moved on to Shadow Master and Phoenix Strike.
The benefits of these skills are as follows: Claw Mastery is pretty obvious, although the benefits don't seem great. Imagine, though, what your damage would be at level 40 without your 8 points in Mastery. Increase it as you have spare points. Tiger Strike powers up your damage amazingly and, when combined with Cobra Strike, will leech enough mana and life to fully heal you (often). The Dragon Claw augments these two, and you get a better chance of hitting (+AR through charges and finishing move, two attacks). These skills function well even at low levels, and can be increased later, if you feel they merit it. Fade needs more points to be effective against elemental damage as well as curses, but the huge res plus is worth it. Burst of Speed lets you accumulate charges and replenish life (with Cobra Strike) at high speed even at just level 3, and should be used as standard (unless facing cursed or lightning/aura enchanted bosses or in an area with lots of magic throwers, such as the Chaos Sanctuary, where Fade should be substituted). Weapon Block gives you the defensive edge you need, and you should have at least 5 points here (they start returning less on a point after the 5th). That may not sound like much, but it translates into a 42% base chance of blocking, which coupled with high dex as a melee fighter will afford a good block. Later, Phoenix Strike's freeze capabilities (again, even at low level) are instrumental when dealing with unleechable, resurrectable enemies (e.g. Nightmare skeletons in Act II). Finally, the Shadow Master (together with your preferably long range Merc) rounds off your party by adding to it with Mind Blast and dealing respectable damage with her claws (roughly 160 with one non enhanced hit at level 6, as my test showed). Shadow Master is the one skill where you should really sink points, as her increased life, resistance and damage are well worth it.
Venom may sound nice, but it can't be used in conjunction with Burst of Speed or Fade, so I advise against it. Dragon Flight is worth investing one point in, for the convenience of teleport. Dragon Tail is an alternative to Dragon Claw, for its radius damage, but recieves no bonus from Claw Mastery, attacks just once and may not do as much damage. Your choice. The various charge up skills not covered above all do elemental damage, which is pretty much offset by the resistance of monsters later on. Maybe you want to put points in one or the other; I couldn't recommend it, as it will take lots of points to get good damage, and those could be spent elsewhere. Psychic Hammer, Cloak of Shadows and Mind Blast are not very important, as they either have no really powerful effect or will be taken care of by the Shadow Master.
In closing, I know that this plan involves a lot of skills to spread points on, but consider that many of them work well enough with only 3 - 4 points invested and that the combinations they afford are powerful enough to make it worth your while. Opinions welcome.

Sal-inis, level 20 Assassin on bnet, 46 single player

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Short and sweet: Plan ahead.
BoSpeed: 5 pts, more is a waste Phoenix Strike: Max, you'll have to deal w/ Physical Immunes later, and having 3 types of elemental damage in one attack is invaluable. Tiger Strike: If pure melee, max w/ max Dragon Tail for enhanced kick damage, fire damage and knockback through NM, will replace w/ PS in hell. Traps: 1 pt in Death Sentry, a few points in LS for stunlocking monsters and fighting across channels. Finishers: Dragon Claw is viable if dual-clawing, but the only one I use consistently is Dragon Flight (1 pt) to get from Point A to Point B and/or out of packs. Mind Blast: a must, but only a point or two, as conversion rate has diminishing returns. Shadow Warrior: 1 pt, as pre-req Shadow Master: 5-10 until hell, then more if you have it. Great meat-shield, useful at all levels after 30. Claw Mastery: If melee-based, 10-Max, esp. if using normal attack to release charges. Cobra strike: 1-2 pts., let +skills take it higher
Note: If melee-based, you will be doing most of your damages in later difficulties w/ charges, not weapons (though dmg rating doesn't hurt). Plan your skills accordingly, esp. taking into account Immunities and how you'll deal w/ them.

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I have been playing my assasin since it came out, I have found that you have to max out two traps, Wake of Fire, and Death Sentry. Put points in all martial arts, and alot of points in burst of speed, claw mastery, and block. Get your Shadow master and hot key it so when she dies you can pop her back out, she will take the attention from you. Your best friend isn't a skill, or a weapon, but a act 3 merc that freezes creatures, I am level 72 and he is level 72 also. He freezes stuff, and I light it up. I have been fortunate enough to get my hands on Bar-tuks claws, and a set of rare claws that add +2 skills with monstrous mods. You need to look for these claws. Good armor, plus to skills on rings, amulet, belts,etc. are the way you stand a chance in the sorc's world. My assasin is just a champion, but she is a accomplished sorc destroyer. If you can get somethig to give you teleport, do it. Charge up on creatures in the area, realease with Dragon Flight, it is very effective. Look for me on-line, if I can help you with equipment, I will, anything to take out the sorc's. Whisper Dropkickmurphy. I am always on. I have many lackeys who further the cause of takening sorc's off their pedestal.

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I'm now in act 2 of Nightmare, and I have had no problems with the assassin (haven't died once).
My strategy is a bit like the necro (stand back, set traps, and let your hirelings fight). On lower levels, invest highly in 'Burst of Speed' and 'Wake of Fire' (You will definitely need speed against Duriel).
As soon as you can get it, invest a couple of points in 'Mind Blast'. This will either turn some enemies to your control, or it will stun them long enough for you to get in some good shots (using burst of speed - have it running constantly).
When you can get it, invest in 'Lightning Sentry' and 'Shadow Warrior': then let your shadow do most of the fighting while you stand back casting 'Mind Blast' and laying lightning traps. Keep your amazon hireling from act 1 through act 2 (mercs in act 2 are worthless), but when you get to act 3 - trade her for a warrior mage and keep him throughout the rest of the game (he casts glacial spikes which are invaluable in a crowd). Keep them well armed - it's worth it.
On higher levels, get 'Shadow Master' (much more effective) and 'Death Sentry' (lots of points on this one!!!). Lay down heavy death sentry traps in act 4 (the corpse explosion goes a long way) as well as in your fight with Baal. Those tentacles don't last long with your shadow and your act 3 merc.
This will let you concentrate on Baal(s). I used some points on 'Phoenix Strike' to take out Baal.
Lastly, I have opted for the single claw weapon, and have adopted a socketed kite shield with the runes from act 5 (Ral-Ort-Tal).
This is what I have done and it is still proving a great solution. Of course... Duriel awaits.

Kel Ko Che

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I finished normal with assassin clvl39. First to say that I'm primarily using traps. It was almost too easy to level up. The only thing that was a bit difficult was of course Diablo. He didn't kill me (lucky me) but I had to recast my shadow master about 10 times, always putting traps around him, watching Diablo fry and once I had to go back to town. Baal is just a joke. Shadow master killed all his 5 waves of minions (of course with my traps). For Baal it took me 2 (two) mana potion and he was not even close to kill me. He was just standing there burning on my wake of inferno. Then I went to secret level. That was fun. I filled my belt with mana potions, went through portal and just mind blasted them. It was so much fun to see how cows killed their own king.
Right now I'm on nightmare with 1,050,000 gold in stash and 200,000 extra (for gambling). Difference between normal and nightmare is that now I'm leveling now really slow. Half of the first act done and not even one level up. I have a rune helm,rune shield,rune armor, really good rare cestus (thanks Diablo),Cow King boots (set item),nagel ring and a manald heal ring. Do NOT forget fade. Even now in nightmare mine lightning and poison resistance is maxed,cold is 65% and fire 50%.
Advice is to play assassin, have fun, get a lot of money and gamble. Who knows? Bllizard sad that in patch 1.09 WILL be possible to gamble for set and unic items.

assassin lvl40

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my advice to play assassin is to use traps. Main reason is that i hate to die and then have to recover my corpse. It's hard till you get to lvl24 but after that it's soooo cool. I ignored martial arts and put my points into traps and shadow disciplines. Most of the time I'm using a bow (3 socket with emeralds,1 perfect and 2 normal). Because of the bug with inserting emeralds i'm dealing 211 poison damage over 2 sec and i have 4 charms with poison damage so my final damage is 950-979 over 3 sec. Everything dies with 1 or 2 hits.
Now on traps. Main trap is wake of inferno and second lightning sentry. For now (lvl 30) wake is on 8 and sentry on 7. If you find anything to give you more mana or regenerate use it. There are runes and sapphires, choose what you want. In act IV keep fade on ALL THE TIME. Each item i have gives me about 20-30% resistance for one element and with fade everything is maxed.
Everything before Diablo was easy (Duriel was a problem but not a big one). Oblivion Knights didn't even see me. Just cast traps around them,be half a screen away, shoot arrows and cast more traps. Your shadow master is there to take hits. All 3 super unic ones before Diablo i killed with mana potions (no full rejuv). Diablo is a different story.
My mercenary died 3 times and my shadow master about 10 but he didn't kill me. When you hear his voice go in a corner and than star walking VERY SLOWLY toward him casting traps. Always cast one and wait a sec or two to see will it trap start attacking. If it does cast another 4 (5 is max) if doesn't go closer and do it again.
He is really fast and his fire nova will kill your shadow but he is really stupid to go after you. He'll case your shadow and mercenary and you should place traps around them. I didn't want to risk anything so i just used traps and shadow running around a LOT. If it gets dangerous go where is ONE SEAL. You can cast portal there without problems.
Shadow warrior or master? Warrior dies very quick and use what you're using (traps).
Master use everything (mind blast a lot), has more life,with every lvl gets more resistance and deals more damge. Mine killed 5 scarabs without dying.

assassin lvl 30

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level 62 assassin .... just began in HELL mode. well, assassin can truly be one of the best characters in the game, since i've basically had no problem getting all the way from ACT I normal to ACT 5 nightmare, up to the point where i had to face the 3 ancients. here's my suggestions...
-- i basically didn't bother investing points in any charge up skills other than the good old TIGER STRIKE... yes, max it out and combine it with several points in DRAGON TAIL (max this out if you can, too), then you can easily produce damages in the range of 1500 to 1800 with an AREA effect when you release the charge!! setting these two as your default enables you to kill even in ACT V NIGHTMARE up to 8 monsters in one single kick (provided they all swarm over you). get claw mastery as high as you can, too... though they don't help very much right away, they are passive skills and will build up to prove its worth.
-- i would not recommend putting points in DRAGON FLIGHT because the chance to miss is too high. good damage there, yes, but if your target moves around a lot, then you're not likely to get it.
-- BURST OF SPEED is a must. no question there... put 4 or 5 points there and you can sit back for a while... until you've maxed out those skills above.
-- i didn't bother with phoenix strike, lighting strike and what not because specialization is very important
-- this may sound odd... but get a couple points in MIND BLAST. it's not the damage you look for, obviously, but the effect to confuse a group of enemies and get them to kill each other. this is especially useful in ACT 4, where map is small and you get tons of monsters
-- and don't listen to those who says traps don't work... trust me when you get to HELL mode, you'd rely on it A LOT.... mostly because your resistance is lowered 80 points below as in NORMAL mode... so it's pretty hard to get physical up close with unique monsters that are aura/lightening/cold enchanted.... i concentrate so much in lightening but it's still not enough in HELL, only 22% resistance. the rest are now in the negative zones... a recommendation is to try to get 3 perfect diamond and put them in a 3-socket shield.. the combined effect should get you about 60% resistance to all.
-- invest only in WAKE OF FIRE (or something, the fire blast) and DEATH SENTRY. wake of fire is useful for slow moving enemies... while death sentry is useful in a CROWD.. if there are particular target you're going after, simply place death sentries in their path where corpses are lying around, and wait for the explosion!
-- SHADOW MASTER is also useful, though not very much in terms of producing damanges in a battle, but they are very good decoys and deserve about 3 to 4 skill points there.
-- for resistance reason, my weapon combination is claw + shield. double claw is good until you get into nightmare, where you should really start thinking about ways to increase your overall resistance. in nightmare ACT 5, you can easily buy shieds that have resistance to all; they range from 5% to 30%(highest i've seen). good thing is, they don't cost that much either. because of this, i would not recommend investing points in dual claw blocking if you're thinking about resistance, since shields can take care of blocking for you.

ok, these are skills in a nutshell...
---------------
how about monsters?
-- the hardest boss over all 5 acts easily goes to DIABLO himself.... BAAL sucks, actually. all you have to do is rush up to him and get your TIGER STRIKE on him quickly. speaking of acting quickly, remember to collect any jewels and runes that can increase attack speed... they are very very good for putting them in socketed weapons. also think about getting gauntlets/bracers that increase attack speed as well. for assassin to survive in D2EX, you need SPEED anywhere you can get it. this is what i have so far --
bracers/gauntlets - 20% increase attack speed
helmets -- 30% increase run/walk speed
boots -- 40% increase run/walk speed
weapon -- 20% increase attack speed
if you combine the above with your BURST OF SPEED, you're looking at running faster than the quickest BARB and attacking faster than PALADIN's "zeal" skill.
-- watch our for the 3 ancients in NIGHTMARE mode... they can be very very hard to kill... provided you might die a few times. definitely get your hireling (barb is the best) and your shadow master with you when you go in to take the challenge. be patient when you get there... make sure you get shit loads of full rejuvs (i'd recommend leaving extras on the ground so you don't have to open up your inventory when you need quick refills. but do the refills when you have at least one bottle on your belt! otherwise these extra bottles will go right back into your inventory. remember, work on these ancients ONE AT A TIME.... if you encounter ancients that are just crazy on auras/elemental chanted... cheat by save and exit and come back to this level again. they might be equipped with different, but easier, characteristics that are easier to deal with.
-- how about HELL? well for starters, it feels like HELL already.... it's mainly due to the resistance level... i'm working on getting the perfect diamond on 3-socketed shiled so they'd give me about 60% of resistance to all right there...

CHAMPION DEATHANGEL (lvl 62 assassin)

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The question: Claw/Shield vs. Claw/Claw.
My answer: Claw/Shield.

I've started a second assassin to test the attack speed, et al. of a claw/shield assassin as compared to my 53rd lvl dual-claw assassin. This was particularly important to me, as in Act VI NM, dual-wielding, I had problems getting resists and the claw-block just doesn't seem nearly as reliable as shield blocking, even with close to 10 pts in it.
Here's the scenario: Both my set ups are Martial Artists, they love using speed and high AR to go toe-to-toe with anyone and everyone in the game (except LEBs beyond normal difficulty, they're not suicidal). The first run through I posted (dual-wielding) I was lvl 31 when I beat Diablo in Act IV, and I must've used something like 18 full rejuvenation potions. Second time through, claw/shield, I waited only until lvl 28 so I could wear Sander's Taboo (20% IAS, +40 life, 36 Def, 9-12 poison/2sec Heavy Gloves, +50 Def for having Sander's Riptrap also). I used 6 full rejuvenation potions, and never did more than dodge some of his lightning.
I haven't noticed much (if any) decrease in my attack speed from one claw to two, and the added resists and better blocking of a shield more than outweigh the possibility of +skills on a second claw at higher levels. Plus, w/ lvl 6 burst of speed, +40% faster wlk/run from Sander's Riptrap and +20% IAS from Sander's Taboo, I (almost literally) fly across the screen. I've ruined myself for playing other classes, as just getting from point A to point B will seem to take FOREVER with anyone else.

-Kat, Lvl 30 Assassin
-Allaera ni Trien, Lvl 53 Assassin

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One of the best combinations in the game is Tiger Strike and Dragon's Tail. Dragon's Tail takes a percentage of the physical damage you do, and applies it as fire damage in a radius. Tiger Strike raises your physical damage up incredibly quickly (level 1 gives a max of +300% on three charges!) which means a huge amount of bonus fire damage (210% of your maximum). I wish I could say that this is an "uber" combo, but I haven't taken the Assassin far enough yet. However, a warning: it seems that a physically immune monster takes 0 damage from your attack (of course, but wait...), and this means that the bonus damage is also set to 0. No physical damage done means no fire damage done. Of course, it suggests that Amplify Damage will double the fire damage bonus....

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I just finished normal world with my level 36 assassin. I think my assassin is at her best, because I still have 33 skill points and 64 character points unused :). Beside, I haven't imbue, socket or personal any of my weapons yet. I only used one skill point in Dragon Talon and couples skill points in Claw Mastery. I don't really know what skills should I pump up now, since I haven't been defeated yet. Anyway, email me if you have any suggestions.

uclaboyzzzz@yahoo.com

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This is a strategy for Assassins against Diablo (Normal or Nightmare difficulties). For this you will need Wake of Inferno/Death Sentry, so you won't die (I tried hand-to-hand and died after bringing his health down just a little, but do what works best for you), and Burst of Speed. After he says, "Not even death can save you from me," activate him (get him to move towards you), then go by the edge where the 2 walls meet (to the right or above the big circle on your minimap), and he can't get you FOR A MINUTE OR SO. Cast the traps and let him fry, but when he comes around the edge, watch out. He usually will cast his Red Lightning, so lure him back

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I'm about a third of the way through Act V in LoD, and my assassin is lvl 32 now, so I thought I'd share some thoughts on her skills and equipment choices. For reference, I opted for a dual claw-wielding assassin, instead of single claw and a shield.
Skills: There are three trees to the assassin skills--traps, martial arts, and shadow disciplines. Thus far I found traps mostly useful in Acts I-III, and playing a lesser role in Acts IV-V, though you should be sure to keep mana potions around as there are times when you can stand across a gap and throw trap after trap across against non-range monsters to make your life a lot easier later on in a map.
Martial arts is a tree where you want a little bit of everything through Normal difficulty, but not a lot of any one thing. I have one point in everything except the last two finishing moves, dragon tail and dragon flight. Dragon talon only because its a pre-req for dragon claw--the finishing move that lets you hit with both claws (after patch 1.08), which is my standard attack to release charge-ups. The very fast attack speed of the assassin's claws is HUGE when dealing with her martial arts attacks. Using a few items that increase attack speed and her Burst of Speed ability (we'll get to that), I can fully charge (3 charges of each) Cobra Strike (for the life/mana drain), Phoenix Strike (for the ice bolts, which freeze, not chill, almost everything they touch), and Tiger Strike (at lvl 1 it does +300% dmg) and release them in short order, sending out freezing bolts and healing myself every 4-10 seconds, depending on proximity of enemies, etc.
Shadow Disciplines is the tree I will be investing the most in over the next 10-20 levels, as this branch contains Burst of Speed (an absolute must for a meleeing assassin), Shadow Warrior (only 1 point to get to Shadow Master, which is MUCH more useful), Claw Mastery (another must) and Weapon Block (a must for a dual claw-wielding assassin, to replace your shield). Claw Mastery and Weapon Block are passive skills, and well worth a few points invested at lower levels. Burst of Speed, even at level one, provides a very noticeable difference in your attack and movement rate, and I recommend using it every two minutes or so to keep it fresh. Three or four points is all I plan on putting in this; less really, as I have +assassin skills on a circlet. Put one point in the skills needed to get Shadow Warrior, and later Shadow Master, as the Master is your best friend from Lvl 30 on. The Shadow Master costs more up front, but after lvl 8 skill, costs less than a Warrior of the same skill level, and gets better bonuses. As well, the Master will often use abilities you don't think about much and/or may not have put any points in yet, casting fade to drop enemies' defense, or using Mind Blast (?) to temporarily give you a few more allies.
That's just the basics on skills, of course, and your own playing style will dictate whether you invest more in other trees than I did.
Equipment: For me, two claw-class weapons, as they naturally have a very fast attack speed, and with the increased durability after Patch 1.08, they last a fairly long time unless you're getting seriously punished and are blocking a lot (takes away from weapon durability as well). Mana-drain and/or mana-after-kill weapons or items are VERY important for an assassin. Each of the charge-up abilities uses 1 or more mana EACH STRIKE--4 for Phoenix Strike. The useful traps cost 10-20 each use (max of five out at any one time). So replacing used up mana is necessary. This is why I used Cobra Strike and Tiger Strike up to level 30 almost exclusively, as Tiger Strike increases the amount of damage you do, and hence the amount of life/mana you leech with Cobra Strike (300% at full charge). Fastest walk/run combined with Burst of Speed lets you almost fly around a screen. Great for hit-and-run tactics.
The only other note on equipment, since selection will vary widely with the changes introduced in the expansion pack, is don't underestimate the value of the new runes, etc. Rune words aside (they're awesome, but disabled in single player until Patch 1.09), I'm currently using a 3-socket Superior Light Plate instead of a good set of rare armor I had been using because I had two jewels that gave me +3 (avg) to energy--for mana for my traps, etc.--and +25 or more to certain resistances, and a flawless ruby (hadn't made a perfect yet) for +31 to life. Later I hope to make use of some of the nice rune word combinations out there--Runica Database is a good source for them as they're discovered--but in the meantime I'm rolling over the initial stages of Act V (though Diablo was HARD, even at lvl 31).

-Allaera Ni Trien, Level 32 Assassin

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